Ask a CEO why you should buy shares in his company and he’ll go right into his sales pitch — as he should. But ask him what other equities you ought to buy, and suddenly he becomes much less loquacious.
Reuters put a battery of top execs through that drill this week at one of the company’s occasional summits. You can find the rationale for each pick (or non-pick) here, but be warned: Reading this stuff will may knock you out faster than a warm milk/half-an-Ambien combo.
The most interesting one, by far, is from T-Mobile CEO Hamid Akhavan, whose network was snubbed by Apple in the iPhone sweepstakes, but still admires El Jobso. Or perhaps he doesn’t want to waste an opportunity to suck up to him.
The bare bones results here:
Hamid Akhavan, CEO, T-Mobile (TMOG.UL): Apple (AAPL)
Brian Hala, CEO, National Semi (NSM): Cisco (CSCO)
John Chen, CEO, Sybase (SY): Google (GOOG)
Bill Watkins, CEO, Seagate (STX): Western Digital (WDC)
Martin Sorrell, CEO, WPP (WPP.L): Nielsen, which mere mortals can’t invest in, because it’s private.
Dave DeWalt, CEO, McAfee (MFE): VMware (VMW); Citrix (CTXS); NetApp (NTAP); EMC (EMC)
H C Kwon, SVP, Hynix: Samsung
Rick Lindner, CFO, AT&T (T): BP (BP.L)
Jean-Francois Decaux, Chairman, JCDecaux: Google (GOOG)
Erik Wachtmeister, founder, A Small World: Research In Motion (RIMM)
Yannick, Levy, CEO, DiBcom: Qualcomm (QCOM)
Gerhard Florin, EVP, Electronic Arts (ERTS): Nintendo
Mike Splinter, CEO, Applied Materials (AMAT): “Stocks in energy”
Rick Simonson, CFO, Nokia (NOK): Non-answer
Dan Schulman, CEO, Virgin Mobile (VM): No answer
Enrique Salem, COO, Symantec (SYMC): No answer